Students, coaches receive awards

Halftime of Jennings County’s Feb. 4 boys basketball game against New Albany was exciting for a couple reasons. Several students were presented with monetary awards, and five men with ties to the school were honored for their contributions to wrestling.

Students who participated in and won the Maverick Challenge were given checks to show their success in creating businesses.

Avery Johnson and Jeffrey Meece won $3,000, and Brandon Sproles, Brandon Dougherty and Quintin Poole won $1,500.

Five men with ties to Jennings County, and members of the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame, were honored: Charles Hurley (inducted 1986), James Harr (1989), Terry Wetherald (1996), Howard Jones (2006) and Carmen Hurley (2010).

Charles Hurley wrestled at Indiana University and was a three-time letter winner. He served as principal of North Vernon High School and became the first principal of Jennings County High School in 1968. He helped form the Hoosiers Hills Conference and served as its first president. Hurley also served on the Indiana High School Athletic Association board and served as a liaison to the wrestling coaches association.

Carmen Hurley, Charles’ son, wrestled at Jennings County High School. He went unbeaten in 1975 and won the 185-pound state championship. He wrestled at Indiana Central University (now the University of Indianapolis) and later coached at Warren Central High School.

Wetherald came to North Vernon in 1963 and started the wrestling program. He served as head coach for five years. He later coached the University of Indianapolis wrestling program for 31 years.

Harr arrived in North Vernon in 1961. He succeeded Wetherald as the wrestling head coach and coached the Panthers to multiple sectional championships. Harr also earned the Jennings County High School Teacher of the Year award during his career, which was capped with induction into the Jennings County High School Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jones served as the assistant wrestling coach under Harr before taking over as head coach in the mid-1980s. Jones had guided the Panthers to more than a dozen sectional championships and a regional crown.